Saturday, July 19, 2014


On Wednesday we drove to San Marino to visit the Huntington Library and Gardens (and Art Museum).  We had been here before on several other occasions in the past and it is always worth revisiting, if for no other reason than to walk in the gardens, of which there are many.  So upon entering the park, we turned to the right and headed for the conservatory which had some new features.  There were several areas set up with microscopes in order to see spores or pollen up close and personal.  Attached to each microscope was a computer screen so that those standing around could also see what you were seeing.  A nice touch.  But it is just one of the ways that the Huntington contributes to education.   In fact, the whole front entrance is under construction for a new education center and entrance/gift shop.  

Leaving the conservatory and again turning to the right, we came upon the trail to the Fragrant Pathway Chinese Garden.  This is one of the largest Chinese gardens we have encountered and they are adding three more sections for the misty cloudy hillside and the twisted pine forest, etc.  We were very appreciative of these descriptions, coming from the "village of tin huts" located next to the "spiked cactus desert".    
After the Chinese garden, we made our way through the forest to the Japanese garden... with its tea house and bonzai trees.  From there we had a great view across the whole Japanese garden area.
By this time it was lunch, so we chose the Cafe in the Rose Garden where we could sit under the shady trees.  Allan had a BarBQ Brisket sandwich and I had a Shrimp and Grilled Vegetable Salad which was exceptional.  One thing we have noticed about museums now-a-days, they are all serving gourmet food.  
After lunch we finally ambled over to the building that houses the American Art (as opposed to the main house which has the European Art) and the selection was small but we were happy to see several paintings by Sargent including this painting of his friend Charles Forbes.  The face is very well done and the remainder of the painting is done in quick strokes with some of the canvas barely covered.  There was also an oil by Mary Cassatt.
We continued on to the Library building where they had a special exhibition of materials collected about science.  There were several early texts on medicine and quite a bit of material on astronomy,
but being a former biology teacher, the exhibit that caught my eye was a complete collection of every edition of Darwin's "Origin of the Species".  The collection started with the year that the book was published and traveled on around the room to reach the current year.  The collection included every volume printed in another language as well.  
We thank Mr and Mrs Huntington for thinking and planning for the future by buying "the ranch" in San Marino and creating a library of their book and manuscript collection, building a home which was to be an art museum after their deaths, and establishing a series of gardens almost unequaled (and we have seen quite a few).   
On Thursday, we visited the Long Beach Art Museum which houses only seasonal exhibitions of which this summer's exhibit was an artists collection of artifacts from his family, back 4 or 5 generations.  Interesting.  So, on to lunch at Claire's on the patio of the museum where we looked out onto the Long Beach beach.  As I said before, there are some good eats at the museums.  

No comments:

Post a Comment